Getting to Stakeholders Agreement


By Andrea Caccamese, PMP®, Prince2® Practitioner, ITIL® V3 Foundation


Damiano Bragantini, PMP®, Agsm Distribuzione



Literature review demonstrates that stakeholders can be classified and mapped based upon various attributes. Relationship, Agreement, and Risk Leverage were proposed in 2012 (Bragantini, 2012), as attributes of a model to map stakeholders. “Agreement” is an instrumental component of the model and it represents the degree at which the stakeholder concurs with, or accepts, the project. The aim of this paper is to make a step forward in an effort to find a suitable metrics for the level of “agreement”. The execution of a project represents a context in which two parties meet to exchange mutual benefits; any stakeholder might wish to “buy” something from the project (personal benefits, user benefits, financial benefits) and in turn the project might wish to get something from the stakeholder (support, good press, resources), so the concept of managing stakeholders as clients, which is gaining consensus (Trentim, 2013), represents the context in which a proposal to measure the level of “agreement” is developed. In this context, the popular “Solution Selling” approach, developed for “eagle sellers” in difficult markets, is revisited in the perspective of Project Management, to provide a path by which the project manager may measure the level of stakeholder agreement to the project.

Stakeholders Classification and StakeholderShape

Stakeholders classification is a very complex topic and it is fundamental that the project manager (and program, portfolio manager) could classify them in order first of all to be effective in communicating with each stakeholder. Communication is not only a personal competence or skill, but also and overall, should be recognized that communication is a prime mover in the execution of a project (or program or portfolio): “Without communication there is no efficient management, or even life. Human is a social creature, so he/she lives in a group, which demands continuous exchange of information” (Bieniok, 2005, cited in Wziątek-Staśko, 2011).

Therefore it is evident that the project manager must perfectly know, as first thing, with whom communicate. With this in mind the project manager needs to correctly register all the stakeholders and search for an accurate classification especially with regards to communication aspects. There are many definitions of what is a stakeholder, indeed the debate is very open, sometime confuse and contested (Miles, 2012).

One of the most accepted definition is by Freeman (1984) “any group or individual who can affect or is affected by the achievement of the organization’s objectives” that is quite similar to the one we find in PMBOK “An individual, group or organization who may affect, be affected by, or perceive itself to be affected by a decision, activity or outcome of the project” (PMI, 2012).

These definitions, indeed, vary widely and without any doubt, to stay alive, the project manager needs to assign attributes to each stakeholder to manage him/her/them in the best way.

In literature the most used attributes to analyse and prioritize the stakeholders are:


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Editor’s note: Second Editions are previously published papers that have continued relevance in today’s project management world, or which were originally published in conference proceedings or in a language other than English. Original publication acknowledged; authors retain copyright. This paper is republished here with the permission of the authors and conference organizers.



About the Authors           

pmwj42-Jan2016-Caccamese-PHOTOAndrea Caccamese




Andrea Caccamese
is an Electronic Engineer with more than 30 years of work experience in Information Technology and in Management Consulting for Banking, Finance, Insurance, Oil, Manufacturing, Defense, Software Development and Hardware Manufacturing sectors. Currently he is an independent Project Management Consultant and Trainer. Mr. Caccamese has gained extensive experience in Program and Project Management, working for or with large organizations or Customers from Banking, Finance, Insurance and Manufacturing, being the leader of several relevant Programs and Projects. Andrea Caccamese is a certified Project Management Professional (PMP) from Project Management Institute (PMI). He is also a certified PRINCE2 Practitioner and ITIL V3 Foundation Certified. He has been actively involved with Project Management Institute (PMI) in the development of the standard for OPM3 (Organizational Project Management Maturity Model) Second Edition as a Sub-Team Leader, as a final Exposure Draft Reviewer and Contributor of PMBOK Fourth Edition, and as an Internal reviewer and final Exposure Draft Reviewer of PMBOK Fifth Edition. He has also been actively involved and is still involved with the local PMI Northern Italy Chapter, where he has been a contributor to some research projects. Mr. Caccamese is a frequent contributor and speaker at various Project Management events and is co-author of the preparatory text book for PMP Certification examination “Professione Project Manager”, and co-author of the text “Il ruolo del Project Manager”.   Andrea Caccamese can be reached at [email protected]


pmwj42-Jan2016-Caccamese-BRAGANTINIDamiano Bragantini




Damiano Bragantini
is a Civil Engineer with more 15 years of experience in Civil Infrastructure and Information Technology experience. Currently he is working with Agsm Group, an important Italian utility in generation, distribution and supply of electricity and gas. Mr. Bragantini is also a recognized teacher at the University of Liverpool (UK) where he teaches in the project management MSc. Mr. Bragantini is a certified Project Management Professional (PMP) from the Project Management Institute (PMI). He has been also actively involved with PMI as a final Exposure Draft Reviewer for Project Cost Estimating Standard and Practice Standard for Earned Value and as internal reviewer of PMBOK Fifth Edition. Mr. Bragantini has also been actively involved and is still involved with the local PMI Northern Italy Chapter, where he has been a contributor to some projects. Damiano Bragantini can be contacted at [email protected].